Sunday, June 28, 2009

First of hopefully many more overnight bike trips

As a Peace Corps volunteer, one must get approval from one's school for any trips away from site. My school gave me a very definite direct NO. Their reason was it is too dangerous and too far. But then Peace Corps called them and lo and behold, I got approval. My depression instantly turned into joy.

In China, ups and downs come very sudden and often come at the very last moment possible. A yes can turn into a no an hour before you are ready to leave. A no can turn into a yes the night before your trip. A command, "Come to this meeting," can be given 5 minutes before the start of the meeting. Remember the Peace Corps mantra, "Be flexible."

Xifeng to Heshui
Distance 54 km (one way)

To Heshui 4 hours
Highlights: Racing down a HUGE winding mountain praying that my brakes would hold.

Surprise in Heshui: As I was wandering the one street city, I decided to check out the bus station and lo and behold I ran into one of my students. The world is small.

Difficulty in Heshui: I woke up at 4:30 am ready to get on the road as the world becomes light around 5 am, but I was locked in. It took me 20 minutes to wake up the desk manager who had to check my room for any damages in order to give me back my 100 RMB deposit. Then she had to wake the gate keeper to let me out. I was on the road by 5:10 am.

Back home 5 hours
Highlights: Pushing my bike 45 minutes up the HUGE winding mountain praying that two trucks wouldn't come at the same moment.

Biking on pavement even with the one gear bike is faster than biking on a 21 speed mountain bike on dirt roads in Africa. I miss biking for long distances. Riding through the empty streets at 5 am this morning reminded me of the many trips in Guinea.

Enjoy the few pictures.


debeh said...

Awesome photos, Jennifer! Hop you can have more bike trips soon!

shelly said...

I enjoyed your pictures so much! May I ask what kind of digital camera you have with you? I need to get a good travel camera. I had a 35mm film in Africa; but need to upgrade to digital. suggestions?

Dr. Jen said...

My friend gave me a camera that her sisters had given her because they had upgraded to better cameras. I have never bought my own digital camera. The camera that she gave me was a 6.0 Mega pixels digital camera EX-S600 Casio.